BISCOE, N.C. News — North Carolina is trying to improve the training of school resource officers as well as educators when it comes to dealing with school shootings and other acts of violence.
To do that, the state is setting up an interim training facility in Moore County, while it constructs a new state-of-the-art facility in nearby Montgomery County.
The state’s Samarcand Law Enforcement Training Academy will add a training center for school resource officers and educators.
“It’s not just about shooter training, but it’s equipping our teachers with knowledge which is better than equipping them with firearms,” said Catherine Truitt, the North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction.
The North Carolina Center For Safer Schools also purchased an old high school in the nearby Montgomery County town of Biscoe, which will be redesigned as a training facility for school resource officers and teachers.
“Any of the training platforms can be used here or in the rest of the school,” said Matthew Rebuck, director of the Samarcand training facility.
Showing one of the reconditioned classrooms to CBS 17, he said, “They can also use it for after-action reports or debriefs, or they can even launch from here.”
Since it’ll take a while to convert the entire school, interim training will take place at the Samarcand facility for now, with some of the focus on what school resource officers need to do to protect children either from everyday problems or gun threats.
“Law enforcement will come here and do active-shooter event training so they’ll know how to react should a crisis like that ever happen here in North Carolina, said Josh Stein, N.C. Attorney General.
The state says the need for that kind of training is being demanded by many.
“We recently sent out a survey that showed 86 percent of respondents across the state say that school safety should be something that schools need to be held accountable for,” said Truitt.
The purchase of the old high school cost was about $30 million — with future renovations not included in that price.
The conversion of the school will be done in stages starting this year and continuing through 2024.
Eventually, it’ll be a state-of-the-art facility for school safety training for law enforcement, educators and mental health professionals.
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